Pair of Brass Swan Figurines
Pair of brass swan figurines used by Nancy Keene (1928-2018) while president of PFLAG Denver. Nancy Keene was the inaugural president of PFLAG Denver (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) for 13 years and co-founder of Denver's AIDS Family Support Group. (For more information on Nancy Keene, see Provenance section below and Attached Files, "A Tribute to the Life of Nancy Keene") The two swans have smooth bodies and necks but vary in height; one swan has an elongated neck, while the other has a sorter neck and a wider bill. Both swans have carved eye and bill lines.
According to donor (Nancy Keene's son), the swan items in this donation represented the story of the Ugly Duckling and how it related to the PFLAG community. According to the story, the Ugly Duckling was cast out of the pond because of the way it looked. Wherever the duckling went animals shunned it for being different. The duckling aspired to look like a beautiful swan and one day sees it's own reflection and realizes it is not an ugly duckling at all but a beautiful swan.
Donated to History Colorado by Mark S. Keene.
Nancy Umbenhaur Keene (1928-2018), the donor's mother, was born in Chicago and moved to Denver in 1964. Keene was the inaugural president of PFLAG Denver (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). The majority of that time was at the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s. Nancy Keene played an active part in soothing the broken hearts of people affected by the epidemic. Keene also co-founded Denver's AIDS Family Support Group, as well as played a role in the passage of Denver's Anti-discrimination Ordinance and efforts to overturn Colorado Amendment 2. She was awarded many honors in her retirement for her role in the community, including Wellington Webb naming February 3, 1993 as Nancy Keene Day in Denver. (For more information, see Attached Files, "A Tribute to the Life of Nancy Keene")
The PFLAG Denver chapter was founded in February 1980. PFLAG Denver is one of over 500 affiliates of PFLAG National.
From PFLAG Denver website (2019): "Our mission is to build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ+ people and allies who support one another, and to educate ourselves and our communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ+ people...PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression."